New Orleans is known for its unique and varied architecture, and one of the most interesting details that can be found on properties around town is the cast and wrought iron work. This is especially true in the city’s cemeteries, where you can find evidence of influences from the French, Spanish, German, and English founders of the city. Just like the beautiful iron decoration surrounding residents’ homes, their tombs were subsequently decorated with similar designs. Several styles are particularly notable, such as merchant bars, which are made up of round or square vertical bars and flat horizontal bars, as well as the picturesque style, which allowed blacksmiths to demonstrate their creativity through rustic, tree like fences in line with the nineteenth century romanticism that built so much of the city. And, of course, because we’re talking about cemeteries in the predominantly Catholic Orleans Parish, there are the iron crosses, found in all shapes and styles. Most notable are the voided crosses (open crosses) and those adorned with scrolls. Many voided crosses also have distinct and unique patterns or motifs placed inside them, so be sure to look closely!
Iron in the Cemetery
Mar 15, 2013 | History